PBS NewsHour full episode, Nov. 9, 2021
JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff. On the "NewsHour" tonight: Biden agenda. The president's plans face a tough road ahead, as both sides dig in over the major Build Back Better legislation. Then: the tipping point. World leaders wrangle over plans to combat climate change, as the consequences of a warming planet fall hardest on developing nations.
And turmoil in Iraq. An attempt to assassinate the prime minister underscores the country's instability following contentious elections. SIMONA FOLTYN: Iraq's election commission finalized the manual recount to address the complaints filed by the losing parties. No major discrepancies were found. But these groups have shown time and again that they don't respect rule of law.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour." (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Pfizer is now asking U.S. regulators to authorize its COVID booster shots for all Americans over 18. At the moment, only older Americans and those with weakened immune systems are eligible. Pfizer's request today comes as holiday gatherings draw near and as infections begin to tick higher in parts of the country.
The prosecution rested today in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial. He is charged with killing two men and wounding a third during violence and protests last year. It happened after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by police and left paralyzed. Prosecutors presented five days of testimony before wrapping up. The U.N. climate summit has entered its final days, with warnings that new pledges to cut carbon emissions are not enough. A U.N. analysis says that, by 2030, global emissions will still be four times the levels needed to limit global warming.
Separately, the NewClimate Institute says that there is no solid plan to soak up more carbon. NIKLAS HOHNE, New Climate Institute: Not a single country has short-term policies in place to put itself on track towards its own net zero target. Right now, the net zero targets are good. They are a vision, imagination. But they have to be backed by action, by short-term action. Otherwise, they are simply not credible. JUDY WOODRUFF: We will return to the climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, later in the program.
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a death row inmate may have a chaplain touch him and pray out loud during a lethal injection. The justices heard arguments today in a Texas case. Texas has halted executions, pending a decision in this case. 0:04:37.080,1193:02:47.295 The Oklahoma Supreme Court today threw out an award of $465 million against Johnson & Johnson
over opioid abuse. The panel said that a lower court wrongly applied a public nuisance law when it found the company used deceptive marketing. Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona is under fire for tweeting a cartoon version of him attacking Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword. He is a leading Trump supporter. The New York congresswoman is a leading progressive. She was at the climate summit today, where she said the incident goes to a larger point. REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It is so common for women and women of color to
be sounding alarms about very disturbing behaviors, patterns, et cetera, to almost be whistle-blowers within institutions, and to not only be ignored, but to have very serious threats not really be addressed. JUDY WOODRUFF: The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, called for an investigation. And the White House said there is no place in politics for Gosar's actions. Later, in a statement, Gosar said that he did not espouse violence and that it was -- quote -- "a symbolic cartoon."
A federal judge has denied former President Trump's request to block release of documents related to the January attack on the U.S. Capitol. That came today as congressional subpoenas went out to 10 more Trump administration officials. They include former senior adviser Stephen Miller and former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Also today, a separate federal investigation found 13 Trump aides campaigned on government time, in violation of the Hatch Act. Former U.S. Senator from Georgia and Vietnam War veteran Max Cleland died today in Atlanta
after suffering congestive heart failure. He lost three limbs in a hand grenade blast in Vietnam and championed veterans' rights. John Yang has our report. JOHN YANG: Max Cleland's political career spanned four decades, stretching from his native Georgia to the U.S. Senate, and included time as President Jimmy Carter's head of the Veterans Administration.
In the mid-1960s, he volunteered to fight in Vietnam. During the siege of Khe Sanh just days before his tour of duty was to end, he picked up a fallen grenade and lost both legs and his right arm. He was awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars for meritorious service. On "The MacNeil/Lehrer Report" in 1978, then-VA Administrator Cleland spoke of the difficulties facing those who had served in that unpopular war. MAX CLELAND, U.S. Secretary Of Veterans Affairs: I think that part of the problem that we will have with Vietnam veterans is, unfortunately, the negative image that the war, in a sense, created for us. I am personally committed to making sure that those who have served this country, and served it well, particularly the disabled veteran, gets the finest treatment in our hospital system possible.
JOHN YANG: He was elected to the Senate in 1996, but lost reelection a year after 9/11 in a nasty race in which his Republican opponent, who had never served in the military, questioned his patriotism. Bound to a wheelchair most of his adult life, Cleland was gregarious and upbeat, known for wearing a Mickey Mouse watch as a reminder, he said, not to take life too seriously. JUDY WOODRUFF: Max Cleland was 79 years old, a remarkable man. Federal wildlife officials today reversed a Trump era rule that stripped habitat protections for the endangered northern spotted owl. They said the rule was based on faulty science.
It would have allowed logging in millions of acres across California, Oregon, and Washington state. On Wall Street today, stocks retreated on news that wholesale inflation is still rising at record levels. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 112 points to close below 36320. The Nasdaq fell 95 points. The S&P 500 slid 16. And, as of today, thrill-seekers in New York City can climb up a skyscraper on the outside. Visitors in body suits and safety harnesses ascend a metal staircase nearly 1, 300 feet high. At the top, they can lean out over the city's skyline. The tickets cost $185.
And some of us won't be doing that. Still to come on the "NewsHour": the consequences of climate change fall hardest on developing nations; a new survey shows the divisions among Americans and within political parties; the husband of the late Cokie Roberts reflects on her life and legacy; plus much more. President Biden will soon sign into law one major piece of his agenda, the bipartisan infrastructure deal, securing a major legislative victory. But there is still work to be done to get his larger economic and social spending package over the finish line. Yamiche Alcindor talks to one of the White House's key negotiators on where it all stands. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Since the infrastructure vote on Friday night, the Biden administration has directed its focus to the Build Back Better package. That's the $1.75 trillion bill with
money for child care, health care, and climate change. It needs nearly every House Democrat and all 50 Senate Democrats on board to pass. Brian Deese is the director of the National Economic Council for the Biden administration. He's been a central figure in these negotiations. And he joins me now from the White House.
Brian, thank you so much for being here. President Biden will soon pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan, but there were many lawmakers who wanted it tied to the Build Back Better act. What assurances can you give Americans that that Build Back Better act is going to become law? And how soon do you expect that to happen? BRIAN DEESE, Director, National Economic Council: Well, for starters, what I can assure folks is that signing this historic infrastructure bill is going to do a lot of good for the country.
We have waited decades to actually do something about infrastructure. And, in that period, the United States has fallen behind. We're 13th in the world in infrastructure. And with this piece of legislation that the president will sign soon, we're going to make historic investments in rebuilding both our physical infrastructure ports, and airports, roads, and bridges, transit, but also provide high-speed Internet to all Americans, clean water by replacing lead service lines across the country. So this is a big set of investments, a capital investment in America that we have waited way too long to do, and we're now finally going to make happen. And I think that's going to build real momentum for getting the second half of the president's economic agenda, the Build Back Better plan, into law. That will start next week, where
we anticipate a vote in the House, and then onto the Senate as well. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Now, the Congressional Budget Office said today that it's releasing estimates for individual titles on this bill, but that it's not clear when it will have a final cost for the final bill. There are some moderates who say they want to see a CBO score before they vote for this. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that she wants to vote on this Build Back Better Act on the week, next week, the week of November 15. How sure are you -- how sure are you that this CBO score will be available by then? But also how worried is the president and yourself that there won't be the score needed to pass this bill in the House? BRIAN DEESE: Well, we're very confident that this bill is fiscally responsible and fully paid for. We saw last week the Joint Committee on Taxation, which is the gold standard for the revenue provisions in this bill, reinforce that there is more than enough revenue, more than enough offsets to offset all of the new investment in this package.
And this is the typical process. Both chambers of Congress typically vote on bills when they have enough information. So, we anticipate that there will be more information provided to lawmakers this week, and, consistent with the commitments that lawmakers and leadership made, that there will be a vote next week, based on that additional information, in the House. This is a process. The bill will pass the House and then will go to the Senate. But, at the end of the day, the most important bottom line is, these are high-value, targeted investments in the American people and the American economy that are fully paid for.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: How confident are you that you have the votes to get this Build Back Better Act passed? And I also wonder what -- you're in the room. What are you telling lawmakers as you try to close this deal? BRIAN DEESE: We are confident that this framework will pass the House and will pass the Senate. And what we're telling lawmakers is, this is an easy vote. The American people are looking to lower the cost of prescription drugs. They're looking to lower the cost of child care and to provide a tax cut to middle-class families, so they finally can have some breathing room. People who are anxious about their economic circumstance, are seeing higher prices, what we -- this bill will do is actually lower prices, lower inflationary pressure by getting more people to work.
And it is fully paid for, and paid for in a responsible way, by asking the largest companies to pay a bit more, as well as the wealthiest Americans. So this is a straightforward plan to deliver where the American people need it most. We're making that case. And we're confident that we can get it through both houses of Congress. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: I want to also ask you about paid family leave. It was added back into the Build Back Better Act. But senators, including Senator Manchin, they have been opposed to this. I wonder, do you
expect paid family leave to be in the final bill? BRIAN DEESE: Well, we're going to work on this issue, and we will see. There's some twists and turns ahead. Paid family leave is certainly something that the president has always and consistently been supportive of. There's been concerns raised by members of Congress. So we're going to work that through. But I think, at the core, the question is not what is not going to be in this package, but what this package will actually deliver for the American people. We have been talking about something like universal preschool for years and decades. Again, economists of all
stripes have identified that as the one of the highest investments we could make in terms of value for the American economy, getting all our 3- and 4-year-olds educated at an early age. We have the potential to get that done and, again, get it done in a way that is fiscally responsible, fully paid for, doesn't raise taxes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year. That's the plan. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: And, Brian, in the last administration that you worked for -- that would be former President Obama -- you were also a key expert on climate change. I want to ask you about climate change in this bill. Are you worried that there are critics who think that you gave up too much on climate and that this bill is too watered down as it relates to those issues? BRIAN DEESE: This bill, as it's structured, would be the largest and most significant investment in climate change in our nation's history by a significant factor. It would, if enacted, reduce one gigaton of emissions from our economy. And, most importantly,
it would spark new economic engines in our economy, from the electric vehicle industry, to the clean power industry, not only putting people to work in good-paying jobs around the country, but creating new export opportunities, so that the United States is actually exporting the next generation of, for example, American-made vehicles, electric clean vehicles all around the world. It's an enormous economic opportunity and a very significant investment. We feel good about what we can get done on climate change, in the same way that we feel good about what we can do to get more people to work by providing child care and eldercare and preschool. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: And, right now, Americans are facing some real economic struggles. Gas
prices are at a record high, the highest, some experts say, that they have been in seven years. There are people that are paying more for the meat that they want to put on the Thanksgiving table. What do you say that to some critics who think that the White House is too focused on long-term investments and are not focused enough on sort of short-term right now relief for Americans? BRIAN DEESE: Look, President Biden understands deeply the impact that higher prices can have on a typical family, whether that's the price at the pump or the price at the grocery store. And he is focused like a laser on those issues. In fact, just today, he was making calls to CEOs of some of the biggest companies, our biggest retailers, as well as freight movers, like FedEx and UPS, to talk about how we can unstick the bottlenecks, some of these bottlenecks that are keeping goods from moving as quickly as they can throughout the economy.
So he is on this case. But I would also underscore the economic momentum and progress that we are making is real. We have seen 5.6 million jobs created. The unemployment rate is down to 5.6 -- to 4.6. That's two years faster than most experts created. And a lot of these supply chain challenges are actually a reflection of the fact that we are moving more goods, more products through the American economy now than at any time in history, significantly higher than before the pandemic. That's a good thing. It reflects the fact that Americans are out there unable to buy goods again. We're going to work through those challenges. And we are on that every day in the short
term. But we think we can focus on both the short term and the medium and longer-term challenges. Part of why we're in this problem is, we haven't invested in building our infrastructure, so that we have more resilient ports, more resilient roads and bridges around America. We can do both of these things. That certainly is what we're focused on. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, thank you so much for joining us, Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council.
BRIAN DEESE: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: We return now to the COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, where leaders are trying to reach new agreements and commitments toward reducing emissions and slowing the impacts of global warming. William Brangham is there for us all week.
In his report tonight, he looks at key questions about getting enough help to the world's most vulnerable nations. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: On the bustling streets of Dhaka, Mohammad Nirob is part of what's becoming the biggest migration inside Bangladesh. Seven years ago, the 45-year-old had to leave his wife and four kids behind in their village over 100 miles away to come here and earn money. Why? His prior life and livelihood had been washed away by ever-increasing floods, ones that are getting worse in a warming world. MOHAMMAD NIROB, Displaced From Home (through translator): I had run a business before. But the business is no more now. The shops, the houses have been devoured by the river.
For more than half the year, our house was submerged two to three times a month. When the high tide happened and the river water flowed into our house, it restricted our movements, our lives. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Climate refugees like Nirob are partly why Dhaka is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and why Bangladesh represents one of the great cruelties of climate change. Those that have done little to cause the problem are paying the biggest price.
Bangladesh emits less than half of 1 percent of the global greenhouse gases that are warming the planet, but suffers disproportionately from that warming. This low-lying country has always been vulnerable to flooding, but climate change has intensified storms, pushed saltwater further inland and now driven an estimated 10 million people from their homes. SALEEMUL HUQ, Director, International Center For Climate Change and Development: The 170 million people in my country are the most climate-aware people in the whole world. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Saleemul Huq is the director of the International Center for Climate Change And Development at the Independent University of Bangladesh. He's in Glasgow for COP 26. He's been to every one of these summits.
Does that explain all the gray hair on top of your head? SALEEMUL HUQ: Indeed. Indeed. The gray hair is one indicator. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Huq says the people of his country are following the talks in Scotland closely. SALEEMUL HUQ: Poor people in the poor countries of the world feel the climate change problem is a problem of injustice. It's not about environment. It's not about politics. It's
about rich people polluting the atmosphere and making victims of poor people, who did not pollute the atmosphere. And that's just wrong. It's immoral. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: One reason for that inequality is the failures of the world's richest countries to fully deliver on a promised $100 billion a year starting in 2020 to help poorer countries adapt to climate change. While many argue that sum was far too little, the wealthier nations aren't even on track to hit that goal. In 2019, they provided about $80 billion, up only 2 percent from the year
before. SALEEMUL HUQ: It's not a huge amount of money. The rich countries together could have figured out how to do it, how to provide it. They didn't. Each country decided for themselves, what is my fair share of this amount? And that's it. And the rest has to come from other
people. So that, to me, is no way to run a show. You know, they were just not serious. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Speaking in Glasgow last week, America's climate envoy, John Kerry, said developed nations will hit the $100 billion mark next year, but, he added: JOHN KERRY, U.S. Special Envoy For Climate Change: No government in the world has enough
money to effect this transition. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The distribution of these funds has also been unequal. One analysis showed that, as of 2019, just 18 percent of the money in the Green Climate Fund, one of the ways these climate dollars get dispersed, went to the poorest nations. Over 60 percent went to middle-income countries, like India and Mexico. WAVEL RAMKALAWAN, Seychelles President: I stand before you, fellow leaders of our nations, neither as a scientist, nor as an environmental expert, but as a citizen of our beautiful planet, and, more specifically, as an island boy facing reality.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Frustrated and sometimes despairing voices from developing nations have been heard throughout COP 26. MOHAMED NASHEED, Former Maldives President: The Maldives is challenged in -- from every single corner, and it is happening, and it is happening now. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Mohamed Nasheed is the former president of the Maldives, and now speaker of Parliament. Twelve years ago, to protest the damage his low-lying country was experiencing,
he famously staged a cabinet meeting underwater. His country has to spend half its national budget adapting to climate change. MOHAMED NASHEED: If the planet heats about 1.5 degrees, that's a death sentence on the people of the Maldives. The Maldives and many low-lying islands and many coastal areas will find it difficult to survive, and we will have large amounts of people on the move, many climate refugees.
And I think the instability that would create would be far worse than addressing the issue right now. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Janine Felson is another veteran of these climate summits. She's the deputy head of the delegation from Belize and also the lead negotiator on climate finance for the Alliance of Small Island States. JANINE FELSON, COP 26 Belize Delegation: Climate change has very, very different impacts across the globe, but for countries that are already in vulnerable situations, they are existential impacts. These extreme events can take away years and years of what people who are already vulnerable have taken to build up. It destroys everything in its path. We're not in the same boat. We're
in totally different things. We might be in a little canoe with leaky holes, but we're definitely not in the same boat. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Felson says COP 26 and meetings like it, put leaders from the richest countries, the biggest emitters, face to face with the countries bearing the worst of climate change. JANINE FELSON: It's not just 44 islands speaking to major countries. I think we have the public eye on leaders. So, we're hopeful. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Saleemul Huq is less optimistic about what might come from world leaders.
SALEEMUL HUQ: I do not have great faith in an outcome coming out from them. One reason is that outcomes depend on consensus. Nearly 200 countries all have to agree, including countries that don't want any progress. And they can hold it up, and they do hold it up. And so whatever comes out is a very, very low common denominator, which is nowhere near what is needed. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: As negotiations continue over the size and shape of future aid for the developing world, people like Mohammad Nirob will continue suffering the present-day impacts of climate change. MOHAMMAD NIROB (through translator): We face the storms, the scorching heat of the sun, rainfall, everything. The river has devoured everything. Now we are struggling to live.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Judy, Nirob's wife and his four children have moved to a new house. They're a few miles inland now. He sends money to them from Dhaka when he can and tries to go visit them once a month. Stories like his, of course, there are millions and millions of them. And the hope amongst activists here is that his story and stories like it resonate within these negotiations going on.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, William, we can see so much debate over how to help, what to do about these poorer countries. But beyond this $100 billion, we understand there's an even more contentious conversation under way in Glasgow. Tell us about that. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That's right, Judy. The $100 billion discussion has been about two things primarily, mitigating against future climate change, meaning helping these countries build renewable energy projects in their countries, or adapting to future climate change, like new farming practices and things like that. The new argument that has been pushed forward is that these countries should be paid for the loss and damages from past climate change events, so payments for something like a drought that wiped out a country's agricultural yield, or payments for things like a city being massively destroyed by a flood.
The argument that these countries make is, wealthy nations grew rich by burning, in large part, oil and gas and coal. But burning those fuels put out emissions that are now harming these countries, and that they ought to be compensated in some way for that. As you can imagine, it's a complicated and divisive issue that has come up. But, unlike also the other climate finance money discussions, if this were to happen, this is not money that gets repaid. These would be grants or gifts. That only further complicates the issue.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And I'm sure a major sticking point is the size of these payments. William, as we heard John Kerry say in your report, there's no government on Earth that could afford something of the size you're talking about. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: No, that's exactly right, Judy. And in that same speech, John Kerry went on to say that simply transitioning most of the developing world to renewable energy would cost trillions of dollars. And so this is part of what this constant issue that we are hearing about mitigation and adaptation, that the refrain that we heard from many people hear is that, when a climate-related disaster hits the United States, when a hurricane hits or a flood wipes out some town, America is wealthy enough to make those people whole, to put the plumbing back, to string electrical lines back up, to make those places somewhat back to normal. These nations cannot do that. And, yes, these costs are daunting. I mean, there's one estimate
out there that, by 2050, climate-driven disasters just in the developed world could be $1 trillion to $2 trillion. So, the question is, will this actually happen here? And while we have seen a few nations put out somewhat tepid statements saying that they're considering or they are acknowledging that this is an issue, nobody we have spoken to here really believes that this is going to be legitimately on the table by week's end. JUDY WOODRUFF: One day after another, and still these debates continue. William Brangham, reporting for us from Glasgow, and you will be there the rest of the week. Thank you, William.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You're welcome, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: It has been one year since one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent history. And it's no secret that political polarization still runs deep. But a new project from the Pew Research Center paints a portrait of the American electorate that is more complicated than just left vs. right. It reveals fractures and fissures existing not only between political parties, but also within them. Jocelyn Kiley is the associate director of risk search at Pew. And she joins me now to explain what they found.
Jocelyn, very good to have you with us. Let's talk about this survey. You interviewed over 10,000 people. You have divided Americans roughly into nine distinct groups for this report. Let's start with what you're calling sort of the Republican coalition. What does this group have in common? JOCELYN KILEY, Associate Director of Research, Pew Research Center: Sure.
So, four of the nine groups we have found are clearly Republican-oriented, and they identify as Republicans. They backed Donald Trump over Joe Biden in 2020, and they are united in some of their political values, right. Faith and flag conservatives, committed conservatives, populist right, and ambivalent right are the four groups and their names. And, first and foremost, they share a preference for smaller government. And they think that government too often does things that are better left to businesses and individuals.
They're also generally united in their views of American foreign policy, at least when it comes to American military power. And one of the other things that they're united by is that they generally reject the contention that white people in America benefit from advantages in society that black people don't have. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you -- so, those are what they have in common. You also, though, saw differences among them. Talk about that. JOCELYN KILEY: Sure. There are quite a lot of cleavages within the Republican coalition. And one of the most
interesting is actually that we identify a group that we call the populist right. They are really quite strong Republicans. They are strong Trump supporters. They're deeply conservative on any number of things. But they have a critique of the economic system. They have negative views of businesses and corporations. And in many ways, in that respect, they look a lot more like Democrats than they
look like other members of the Republican coalition. We also see some divides when it comes to social issues. So, traditionally, social conservative positions, like lacking support for same-sex marriage, or we have seen that, traditionally, Republican groups oppose legalized abortion, we see some divisions within the Republican coalition these questions. And then, when it comes to foreign policy, we see a couple of groups where -- the Republican groups saying that the U.S. should go it alone in foreign policy, but we see two of the four Republican groups really saying that working with allies is really essential. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, those are the Republican groups.
Let's talk quickly about the four Democratic groups that you lump together and what they have in common. JOCELYN KILEY: Sure. Like the Republican groups, they're generally united in their views about government. So there's a general support for saying that government should do more to solve people's problems. That's something that unites Democrats and has historically done so.
It's also true that, when it comes to some issues, like attitudes about race and gender, we see that the Democratic groups are more likely to say that women continue to face obstacles in society that men don't face. And it carries over into attitudes about race as well, saying that there's a lot more that the country needs to be done -- needs to do in order to confront and get to the goal of racial equality. They're also generally united on economic issues, at least with respect to saying that the economic system is not fair to all Americans, and they generally support raising taxes on wealthy people and businesses and corporations. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, now, what about where Democrats differ? What are the big areas of disagreement? JOCELYN KILEY: Yes, there are a few there as well. I think one of the really interesting ones -- and we have seen this in the debate around police funding -- is that, actually, several of our Democratic groups are more likely to say that police funding should be increased than decreased.
So, a group we call the Democratic mainstays takes this position, as does a group that we call the establishment liberals. But two other groups, a progressive left group and an outsider left group, are more likely to say that police funding should be decreased than increased. So, that's a key division. We also see, even when it comes to attitudes about climate, Democrats are largely united in seeing that climate is an issue. They all identify it as a major problem for the country. They tend to say that the party and the country should prioritize the development of alternative energy sources, but it's really only our progressive left group that says the country really needs to completely rid itself of fossil fuels.
And that's a distinction that I think is important to understand differences within Democrats. JUDY WOODRUFF: And then there's this one group that doesn't fit into either party. JOCELYN KILEY: Right. That's a group we call the stressed sideliners. They're about 15 percent of the public. And they're evenly divided in their politics between identifying or leaning towards Republicans and identifying and leaning towards Democrats. But what makes them stand out is that they're not particularly engaged in politics. They're
the least likely group to have voted in 2020. They'd say they don't follow politics terribly closely. So, you do have this middle, but they're not really an active -- a politically active middle. And that's an interesting aspects of our politics today. And it's not all that different than in the past. JUDY WOODRUFF: And would you say there are big messages from this for each one of the political parties? JOCELYN KILEY: I think it gives Americans, not just the parties, but Americans, a snapshot into the kind of internal politics that the two parties are dealing with, right. The two party coalitions are actually quite big tents, and they have to manage these different constituencies. And, sometimes, they're in conflict. So I think, on the left, for instance,
we saw a little bit of this last week over the course of the last couple of weeks in Congress for sure. And I think you can see this, that the differences between the progressive left and the Democratic mainstays really are sometimes hard to navigate. And there are dynamics on the right that are similar in that way. So three of the four Republican groups are quite positive about former President Trump, but then the ambivalent right really stand out in that respect.
And so coalition management is a really important thing for the parties. And I think it's also an important thing for the American public to understand that often we talk about Republicans and Democrats and how polarized we are, which is absolutely the case, but it's also true that there's a lot of -- there are a lot of these internal divisions as well. JUDY WOODRUFF: It's fascinating. There's a lot to dig in here, to see for those of us who love politics and are so curious about it. Jocelyn Kiley with the Pew Research Center, thank you.
JOCELYN KILEY: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: And to find out which group shares your views, you can take the Pew quiz on our Web site. That's at PBS.org/NewsHour. There's been a rise in violence in Iraq since the days since October's election, suggesting deepening internal divisions and broader instability. Iranian-linked parties that lost big last month have since staged protests, threatened election officials and are widely blamed for Sunday's drone attack that targeted the prime minister in his residence. Special correspondent Simona Foltyn reports from Baghdad.
SIMONA FOLTYN: Camped outside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, these men represent a new test for Iraq's young, fragile democracy. They are members or supporters of pro-Iranian parties who suffered a crushing defeat in October's parliamentary vote, losing two-thirds of their seats. Even though the U.S., the U.N. and the E.U. praised it as transparent, they claim the election was rigged.
HASSAN JASSEM HAMOUD, Candidate, Rights Movement (through translator): The outcome is misleading. We had our own observers, who brought us evidence of our success in securing seats. SIMONA FOLTYN: Complicating things further, many of the losing parties have armed wings. Hassan Jassem Hamoud ran as part of a political movement closely linked to an armed group that the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization for targeting American forces, 2, 500 of whom are still stationed in Iraq. Hamoud failed to win a seat and says his supporters are ready to take action.
HASSAN JASSEM HAMOUD (through translator): If there is no action, and we continue to be penalized by the election commission and these negative results, then there will be a popular movement, and these groups here will play their role. SIMONA FOLTYN: Hamoud blames Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, as well as the U.S. government, which backs him and which has funded the United Nations election monitoring mission, for the alleged fraud.
As the country waits for final results, these men too wait for further instructions. On Monday, Iraq's Election Commission finalized the manual recount to address complaints filed by losing parties. No major discrepancies were found, meaning that the preliminary results are likely be endorsed by Iraq's Supreme Court.
But these groups have shown time and again that they don't respect the rule of law. The protests turned violent last Friday, when hundreds tried to breach the Green Zone, a fortified district that houses embassies and government offices. Two men were killed when security forces opened fire. Both were members of another paramilitary group whose leader has been sanctioned by the U.S. for human rights abuses. Here he is visiting the protest site and threatening
Prime Minister Kadhimi. QAIS AL-KHAZALI, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (through translator): You, Kadhimi, hear it from me. Revenge for the blood of the martyrs is our responsibility, which will be achieved by putting you on trial.
SIMONA FOLTYN: Hours later, three armed drones targeted the prime minister's residence, in the most brazen attack yet on the state's authority. Kadhimi escaped unscathed and called for calm. President Biden denounced what he called a terror attack. But some observers say the strike is an unsubtle negotiating tactic to extract concessions in forthcoming talks over government formation. FARHAD ALAALDIN, Chairman, Iraq Advisory Council: As soon as we have the election announced, the results, final results announced, then we will move to the next stage, which is the beginning of the real negotiation. You will see most of what is taking place right now
is going to disappear. SIMONA FOLTYN: And yet this election has exposed the deepening divisions among Shia parties, which have ruled Iraq through consensus since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. That is raising fears of an intra-Shia war. Influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has cast himself as a nationalist and whose party won the election, said he wants to form a majority government, a break with the previous practice of dividing government posts among all elected parties. That idea of a majority government is firmly rejected here at the protest site. AKRAM YOUSIF AL SAIDI, Tribal Leader (through translator): It's impossible. This will not
happen. Why? Because Muqtada Sadr doesn't represent the Shia. He only represents one side. SIMONA FOLTYN: For now, an uneasy calm has settled over Baghdad's streets. But with both
Sadr's supporters and the Iran-linked parties armed to the teeth, the failure to reach a political agreement could ignite fresh conflict. For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Simona Foltyn in Baghdad. JUDY WOODRUFF: Journalist Cokie Roberts, who died two years ago, paved the way for many women in our field, setting an example with her political reporting and analysis.
But to those who were closest to her, she was also known as a fearless matriarch, beloved wife, and cherished friend and mentor. I sat down with her husband, Steve Roberts, to talk about his new book, "Cokie: A Life Well Lived," and what her legacy has meant for journalists and women across the country. Steve Roberts, thank you so much for joining us. STEVEN ROBERTS, Author, "Cokie: A Life Well Lived": Great pleasure, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: What a wonderful book. What a wonderful picture, "Cokie: A Life Well Lived." That's true, and we still miss her.
STEVEN ROBERTS: Every day. But I did this book, Judy, because there were two Cokies. There was the public Cokie, which listeners of public broadcasting know well, public radio know well. And there were countless
young women over many years who saw her on TV or listened to her on the radio, and said: I can be that smart. I can be that strong. I don't have to hide who I am. I can be myself. And it was an enormously powerful model, the public Cokie. But there was the private Cokie, who did something good for someone else every single day. She lived the Gospel, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: You're right. There was the Cokie we all thought we knew, the journalist, the public person. But there was the daughter, the sister, the mother, the wife, and someone
who lived a very full life, engaged in her faith, engaged in her family, engaged with -- and, as you say, with so many friends. She had... (CROSSTALK) STEVEN ROBERTS: Well, friends with -- and particularly her female friends. She had lots of guy friends, but she had a special feeling for women in all sorts of ways, young women who looked up to her.
And at her office in ABC, there was a line outside the door. I was -- there could have been a sign saying, the doctor is in. You know what I'm saying? (LAUGHTER) STEVEN ROBERTS: Because they wanted role models. And here was Cokie with two kids, long marriage,
six grandkids. And these young women who were working with her and for her said: That's who I want to be. I want that life. You know this yourself, as a mother of -- in this business, you were a real pioneer, too.
You were part of that whole generation, Judy. And there's a passage in the book about a woman who was very associated with this show for many, many years, Linda Winslow, who's the producer here. JUDY WOODRUFF: Right. STEVEN ROBERTS: And when she had an operation for ovarian cancer, who was the person who sat for hours outside in the waiting room was Cokie, because Linda's family wasn't here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right. STEVEN ROBERTS: And someone had to be there. And Cokie was absolutely determined she was going to be there for her friend. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Linda has never -- the two of them were very close. But it was Linda Winslow, our former executive producer. But there's a story about our current
executive producer, Sara Just... STEVEN ROBERTS: There is. JUDY WOODRUFF: ... who speaks about when they were working together at ABC.
STEVEN ROBERTS: She had a lot to do with Sara taking the job here, encouraging her and mentoring her. And -- but Sara's story was so instructive, because Cokie loved doing needlework. She did a piece of needlework for every one of our six grandchildren. But there was another point to it. She wanted to say, not so subtly: I'm not a guy in a suit. I'm a woman here. And I am doing womanly things.
And Sara tells a story about sitting in a conference room talking about recipes with Cokie and doing their needlework. And as the guys are filing in, Sara says: "Maybe we should stop talking about recipes. And maybe we should put away our needlework." Cokie said: "No. No, we're not putting it away, because they need to know that we are women." And that was part of what was so important about her, Judy, because she was a radical and a traditionalist at the same time. And no matter how visible she became, she always
said: We cannot, as women, lose sight of the roles we have always played as the nurturers and the caregivers and the keepers of the family flame. JUDY WOODRUFF: And she somehow just instinctively had that sense that that was something that was important for her to do. But it was not only that, Steve Roberts. It was -- I mean, she had this extraordinary career as a very successful, brilliant journalist, covered Capitol Hill, covered American politics for all those years.
Where did that come from? Clearly, her father and then mother served in Congress. So, it was in the family. But she really got politics. STEVEN ROBERTS: Yes, her mother and father served a total of 46 years. We do not believe
in terms limits in our family. (LAUGHTER) STEVEN ROBERTS: But it went way, way back. Her seventh birthday party was at the Capitol, Judy. When she was 12 years old, she was giving tours of the Capitol for her father's constituencies. So, it was in her bones. It was in her fingertips, that understanding. But it was not just understanding, Judy. It was respect.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes. STEVEN ROBERTS: You know, she believed in the life of politics as a noble occupation, and she believed in Congress as the epitome of American democracy. And she brought that -- she was very tough and she was very skeptical. She was also respectful of the political life, which set her apart from a lot of political reporters. JUDY WOODRUFF: She believed in holding them accountable, but doing it in a respectful way, and respecting the work that they do. One thing I want to ask you. You knew her so well. And journalism has changed. I mean,
at the time she passed, two years ago, journalism was already going through turmoil, today, even more turmoil. What do you think she would be saying about what we're going through right now? STEVEN ROBERTS: Well, I think two things. I think she would be very regretful of the way journalism has become a target of some politicians who run against journalists and demean journalists and use them as a foil and a target.
But I think she would be very strong in saying, we can't let this turmoil unmoor us from our basic principles. And she would say, with all the ways we have changed, all of the new technologies, all of the new pressures, let's not forget what our core mission is and what our core values are. And I think she would have been very strong in saying that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: One of many, many good lessons that come from the pages of this book, "Cokie: A Life Well Lived." Steve Roberts, thank you very much. STEVEN ROBERTS: Judy, it's been a real pleasure. JUDY WOODRUFF: Bren Smith has spent his life on the water. After seeing firsthand the harsh effects of commercial fishing on the climate, Smith wanted to find a more environmentally friendly way to do what he loved.
In 2013, he founded the nonprofit GreenWave to teach regenerative ocean farming techniques to fishermen across the world. Tonight, he gives his Brief But Spectacular take on making a living on a living planet. BREN SMITH, Executive Director and Co-Founder, GreenWave: You know, I grew up in a little town in Newfoundland, Canada, the most eastern point of all North America. And all I ever wanted to be was a fisherman. Those were my heroes. So, at age 14, I dropped
out of high school and headed out to sea. This was the late '80s on the Bering Sea, and it was the height of industrialized fishing. We were tearing up entire ecosystems with our trawls. Most of the fish I was catching was going to McDonald's. So I was, like, right at that peak of one of the most unsustainable forms of food production on the planet, producing some of the most unhealthy food on the planet. And that's where I began to realize, if I'm going to make a living on a living planet, if I'm going to die on my boat one day, we need to change our relationship to the ocean.
Regenerative ocean farming has been around for centuries. The first regenerative ocean farmers were indigenous folks in the Pacific Northwest building clam walls. But I think the time has come because the climate economy and the challenge of climate change is demanding that we change the plate, right, that we shift things around.
And instead of being like, oh, what do we want to eat, it needs to shift to, what can we grow? What can the Earth provide at this moment? And the oceans are one of the key answers to that. We really need to trade knowledge in order to build this, because growing food underwater is really hard. I can't see the crops I grow. I can't swim. And my soil turns over 1,000 times a day. The way we're going to counter that is by thousands of farmers working together, collaborating together around the country and around the world. Regenerative ocean farming is using
Mother Nature's technologies to bring life back to the ocean and grow food. We're growing things that can't swim away, and you don't have to feed. So, that means you don't need pens. You don't need to use antibiotics and pesticides and fish feed to grow these things. You're just allowing your shellfish and seaweed to soak up what's in the water, soak up carbon, sunlight, things like that, in order to grow, which makes it zero-input food, making it hands down the most sustainable form of food production on the planet.
When you think of the farm, think of an underwater garden, where you have a rope scaffolding system below the surface held down by anchors. And from there, we can grow all our different crops. We can grow seaweed vertically downwards, next to mussel socks, oyster cages in the bottom, and clams down in the mud.
And it's all below the surface, right? You come out to the farm and you just see some buoys. And that's so important. Like, our oceans are these beautiful, pristine places. And we need to keep them that way. There's a lot of ocean out there, and if you were to take less than 5 percent of U.S. waters and farm with regenerative ocean farming,
according to the World Bank, you would create the protein equivalent of three trillion cheeseburgers and 50 million jobs. I mean, if you want to rebuild the middle class, if you want to address the harms of globalization, bring production home, grow good local food, our waterways are an incredible way to do it. And I think that's what brings so many people to this space, but also gets me sort of excited when I wake up at 4:00 every morning. It's like, oh, I can be part of the piece of the puzzle of addressing the biggest crisis we have ever faced as humanity. My name is Bren Smith, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on making a living on a living planet. JUDY WOODRUFF: And love his enthusiasm.
And you can watch all our Brief But Spectacular episodes at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief. The Colorado River supplies drinking water to nearly 40 million people. It irrigates almost four million acres of farmland. But a 20-year mega-drought is squeezing it dry.
Tomorrow evening, join "PBS NewsHour"'s Miles O'Brien for a special hour-long event exploring the relationship between climate change and the fate of the Colorado River Basin. "Tipping Point: River on the Brink" streams live Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday -- 7:00 p.m. Eastern on PBS.org/NewsHour. And on the "NewsHour" online right now: Farms and pastures inevitably take a toll on the environment. So, this landscape ecologist brings stakeholders together to solve some
of agriculture's big problems. Read more on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour. And that is the "NewsHour" for tonight. I'm Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us at the "PBS NewsHour," thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon.